I have met the Enemy—and he is us.

Intelligent Design (ID) at one time seemed to make a lot of sense to me. I finally realized, however, that I was still suffering from the modernity hang-over. ID is a still too modern understanding of nature and I began to understand that over time. Cunningham, in Darwin’s Pious Idea, also points out the short comings of ID. He writes:

“Interestingly, the I-D (Intelligent Design) camp echoes the approach of the ultra-Darwinists. They think religious notions of a deity should be demonstrable, at least to some degree. Therefore they seek to show that neo-Darwinism’s account of evolution is inadequate, arguing, for example, that natural selection cannot explain all that appears in nature…First of all, if I-D is correct about neo-Darwinism—that its accounts are not sufficient to explain the natural world—then so what? Surely that means that current science is inadequate. Current science is always inadequate… [I-D] is thus a misnomer. It should be asking not for an inference to design, but simply more scientific work.”

“In short, so-called [I-D] is scientifically wrong because it’s not science: science asks for more science, not for religion (or atheism). Yet the I-D movement does signal a significant cultural reaction to the hegemony of scientism and to the willful corruption of evolution by secularists. The problem with I-D is that it is itself guilty of scientism—it too presumes that science is the sole criterion of truth.”

“It seems that both I-D and ultra-Darwinism are guilty of “the devil of the gaps.” They look at current science (or some sample of it) and extrapolate a metaphysical position. This is wholly illegitimate and does science a great disservice. We say “devil” because such inferences are opposed to good practice generally, and theology specifically. For instance, someone like Dennett will look for a Cartesian soul, and because it cannot be found (that is, it is missing), he concludes that there is no soul and that atheism is true. So his devil lies in the gaps, that is, the absences of banished concepts. Likewise, Dawkins will point to, say, an apparent imperfection in the biological world; the absence of “perfection” leads him to conclude that “God” is absent. So also with the advocates of [I-D], who point to a current gap in science, or the inadequacy of a mechanism to give a full account of the biological world, and conclude that a designer exists.”

“There too the devil lies in the gaps, for, as we pointed out earlier, any such designer is more Homeric than Abrahamic. Indeed, if Dawkins should turn to I-D to help discourage religion, then, conversely, I-D would do better to turn to the work of Dawkins et al., who have long argued for just such a “watch-maker,” blind or otherwise—namely, natural selection (at least when it is taken to be all-powerful). For the ultra-Darwinist interpretation of natural selection is indeed the god of [I-D], whom orthodox Christians find diabolic. Moreover, we can find no nonarbitrary reason why Dawkins does not worship it, imperfections and all. Against all this, science must be understood to be an open and endless discipline, never extracting (or forcing) philosophical conclusions, since this would be to employ the very same logic of the God of the gaps (but in the name of the “devil”). By contrast, in the doctrine of creation ex nihilo, ‘The appeal is not to a ‘gap’ in scientific explanation but to a different order of explanation that leaves scientific explanation intact, that explores the conditions of possibility of there being any kind of scientific explanation.’”
(Ernan McMullin, “Natural Science and Belief in a Creator”)

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